The whole world is about to learn the joy of toasted ravioli. A cheese version of the St. Louis specialty is now being sold to the masses at Trader Joe’s under the name of “breaded fried ravioli.”
The Trader Joe’s version contains ricotta, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan, and they look like an appropriately toasty and delicious substitute if you can’t find a vegetarian version locally.
Most restaurants in the St. Louis area serve a meat-filled version of the fried pocket and a vegetarian version can be hard to find. Hammerstone’s (2028 S. 9th Street, 314-773-5565) used to have cheese t-ravs on the menu, and Mangia (R.I.P.) also had a great cheese and spinach version shaped like triangles. And the dearly departed Rossino's on North Sarah Street had the best fried cheese raviolis ever, but most local versions are meaty.
Trader Joe’s always knows the way to our husky Midwestern hearts, though, calling these little guys “#cheesebombs” and including some St. Louis history in a description of the “breaded fried ravioli”:
“Legend says a chef in the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri flukily flung some pillow-shaped #pasta in hot oil instead of boiling water. He called it #toastedravioli because that sounded better than “fried.” This may be true, but one thing we can say for sure: #TraderJoes Breaded Fried #Ravioli are so tasty, nothing—including the name—will stop you from eating a whole bunch!”
Yes, all of that is true. Bust out the air fryer, St. Louis. We’ve just declared it Marinara March.
UPDATE: Circa Pub & Grill in Des Peres has toasted cheese ravioli on their menu along with many other St. Louis specialties.
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